US peace activist Tom Hayden, RIP

This video from the USA says about itself:

25 May 2016

In this excerpt from Overheard with Evan Smith, political and anti-war activist Tom Hayden reflects back on the Vietnam War 50 years since the Port Huron Statement. Hayden was in Austin to speak at the LBJ Library’s Vietnam War Summit in April 2016.

From Reuters news agency in the USA:

Prominent Anti-War Activist And Member of ‘Chicago 7’ Tom Hayden Dead At 76

He was one of several protesters arrested and charged with incitement and conspiracy during the Democratic national convention in Chicago in 1968.

10/24/2016 02:35 am ET | Updated 4 hours ago

Veteran social activist and politician Tom Hayden, a stalwart of America’s New Left who served 18 years in California’s state legislature and gained a dash of Hollywood glamour by marrying actress Jane Fonda, has died aged 76, according to media reports.

Hayden died in Santa Monica, California, after a lengthy illness, The Los Angeles Times reported on its web site. …

Hayden, who forged his political activism as a founding member of Students for a Democratic Society, which stood at the core of the 1960s anti-war and civil rights movements, was principal author of the group’s revolutionary manifesto, the Port Huron Statement.

The University of Michigan student ventured into the Deep South, where he joined voter registration campaigns and was arrested and beaten while taking part in the “freedom rider” protests against racial segregation.

Hayden, however, became perhaps best known as one of the “Chicago Eight” activists tried on conspiracy and incitement charges following protests at the turbulent 1968 Democratic National Convention. He was ultimately acquitted of all charges.

A New York Times book review of his 1988 memoir, “Reunion,” one of more than 20 books published under his name, called Hayden “the single greatest figure of the 1960s student movement.”

Outliving contemporaries Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Eldridge Cleaver and Huey Newton, Hayden remained active in left-wing politics well into the 21st century, posting on Twitter just a week ago.

Winning election himself to the California state Assembly in 1982, and then the state Senate a decade later, Hayden went on to serve a total of 18 years.

Later he became director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center, a nonprofit left-wing think tank devoted mainly to analysis of continued U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, drug policy and global poverty.

Hayden was married to actress Jane Fonda from 1973 to 1990, with whom he had two children. Midway through their marriage, the couple graced the cover of People Magazine.

In later years his writings were published in national publications including The New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Denver Post. He served on the editorial board and was a columnist for The Nation magazine, and was the author of more than 20 books.

Tributes poured in on social media.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Hayden visited Vietnam twice; the first time in 1965 without government permission. Later it turned out that the FBI had begun to spy on him in that year. In 1967 he returned to Hanoi. He came back with three prisoners of war, for which the government thanked him.

Contrary to some people who are pro-peace while young and become establishment warmongers later, Hayden kept opposing post-Vietnam ‘humanitarian’ wars (see his article on hawkish US foreign policy bigwig Samantha Power). Like he opposed the 1999 Yugoslavia war, though an administration of Hayden’s own Democratic Party waged that war. And like he opposed the US plans to join the war in Syria. And the Iraq, Afghanistan etc. wars.

Hungarians boo Prime Minister Orbán

This video says about itself:

Viktor Orban and Hungary’s faltering media oppositionThe Listening Post (Full)

16 October 2016

On The Listening Post this week: The main opposition newspaper folds in Hungary. We examine the government’s tightening grip on the press. Plus, journalism in a post-fact world.

Low sales vs Viktor Orban’s media crackdown

It’s the latest chapter in the story of a media landscape transformed. When Nepszabadsag, Hungary’s most influential opposition paper was suspended, owners cited low sales – but journalists say it is part of a wider media suppression.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Prime Minister Orbán booed at commemoration of Hungarian Uprising

Today, 17:24

In Budapest, thousands of people are on their feet to demonstrate against Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Orbán was jeered by opponents of his refugee policy during his speech at the commemoration of the Hungarian uprising of 1956 against the Stalinist government. …

Demonstrators shouted “Viktator” and “democracy” during Orbán’s speech there. The prime minister had to stop his speech several times because he could not be heard above the din.

Critics say that Orbán’s government weakens democratic institutions. The vice-president of the center-left party Together, Peter Juhasz, said Hungarians in 1956 revolted against the kind of policy that Orbán now stands for. …

Earlier this week, Orbán said that 1956 meant the beginning of the end of the Iron Curtain. By keeping migrants outside Hungary, he says, he now does the same as the demonstrators in 1956.

His critics think otherwise. They believe that the memory of the mass flight of Hungarians after the failed uprising should bring the government to a less restrictive policy on refugees.

Save Saudi teenagers from beheading for free speech

This video, by Channel Four in Britain, says about itself:

Ali Mohammed al-Nimr: Sentenced to death

8 October 2015

Interview with the father of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, the activist sentenced to death by crucifixion in Saudi Arabia. He says there are 7 other men who also face the death penalty.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

Try harder to save Saudi death row teens, says charity

Saturday 22nd October 2016

THE British government was urged yesterday to redouble its efforts regarding the fate of three Saudi juveniles, who remain on death row a year after ministers said they were seeking “assurances” that they would not be executed.

Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher, Ali al Nimr and Dawood al-Marhoon were aged 15, 17 and 17 respectively when they were arrested for allegedly taking part in pro-democracy protests in the kingdom’s eastern province.

All three face beheading after they were sentenced in the secretive Specialised Criminal Court, on the basis of “confessions” which legal action charity Reprieve says were signed under torture.

The Foreign Office has said it has sought regular “assurances” from its key arms client, with Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood telling Parliament last month: “Our expectation remains that they will not be executed.”

But the three juveniles remain on death row, and their families say that they fear the executions could go ahead without warning.

The British government has so far stopped short of calling for the death sentences to be scrapped — something that other governments, such as France, have done.

Reprieve has written to the Prime Minister Theresa May asking her to request that Saudi Arabia commute the sentences.

Reprieve director Maya Foa said: “Saudi Arabia’s ‘assurances’ that they won’t execute these three boys count for nothing when the kingdom has continued to behead juveniles and other prisoners, many of whom were tortured into bogus ‘confessions.’

Theresa May must call urgently for these death sentences to be scrapped.”